Paterno's disgrace like no other


Paterno's disgrace like no other

Joe Posnanskis upcoming book on Joe Paterno has been universally slagged as a valentine to a disgraced man, based on no readings at all. Hey, we are a community of pre-judgers, and no matter how bad we are at it, we do it cheerfully anyway, typically on command.Or have you never asked, What do you think the Giants are going to do in September? or Will the 49ers get to the Super Bowl?But the brief GQ excerpt of the book is actually a look at a man who dies of disgrace in slow motion, and not the love letter to the image he crafted. And the one paragraph that shows him in the most horrible moment of self-realization makes all the pre-criticisms of the book moot.On Thursday (the day after his firing), Paterno met with his coaches at his house. He sobbed uncontrollably. This was his bad day. Later, one of his former captains, Brandon Short, stopped by the house. When Brandon asked, How are you doing, Coach? Paterno answered, I'm okay, but the last syllable was shaky, muffled by crying, and then he broke down and said, I don't know what I'm going to do with myself. Nobody knew how to handle such emotion. Joe had always seemed invulnerable. On Thursday, though, he cried continually.My name, he told Jay (his son), I have spent my whole life trying to make that name mean something. And now it's gone.You are not required to have sympathy for him even now. The misdeeds are too great, the misplaced priorities too horrendous. His disgrace is well-merited.But this is no love letter from Posnanski, as had been feared. This is a train wreck from the view of the engine, a look at the depths of disgrace that Chad Johnson couldnt possibly match in HBOs Hard Knocks when he was cut on camera by the Miami Dolphins after allegedly assaulting his soon-to-be-ex-wife Evelyn.Who, weirdly enough, he was going to appear on a VH1 reality show come September. Live by TV, die by TV, its all the same, because theyll both have new shows eventually. It is the nature of the beast.But there will be no new show for Paterno, not that there should be. Posnanski is allowed to capture him confronting his own doom, once and for always, and there is something both devastating and forlorn in all that, something television and the law of the observer effect cannot recreate.The observer effect states roughly that measurements of certain systems cannot be made without affecting the systems, a scientific way of saying that if you know you are watched doing something, it changes what you do. Johnson knew HBO was in the room when he was cut, because Johnson is a child of the age of intrusion television, and he reacted in full knowledge that he was being watched, and had the time to reinvent himself or his surroundings with time.Paterno knew he had no time left. He was dying, all he had known was being demolished, and his name and reputation was being reduced to rubble, not one brick at a time, but in an enormous explosion, and he would never be able to repair it. He may have been delusional about his importance, or his sense of his morality, but he knew what hed done, he did it anyway, and he was reaping a horrible whirlwind.You see, theres disgrace, and then theres disgrace. The difference was that in Paternos case, there was no TV camera there to somehow trivialize it, or promise a new exciting episode. This was his end, as captured not by a camera but a man with a pen. It will be remembered far longer than Chad Johnsons last HBO cameo for that very reason.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for

Report: Giants discussed Panik, top prospects in potential Stanton trade


Report: Giants discussed Panik, top prospects in potential Stanton trade

On Monday morning, some important details emerged.

The Giants discussed Joe Panik and top prospects Tyler Beede and Chris Shaw with the Marlins in a potential trade for Giancarlo Stanton, according to sports radio host Craig Mish.

Last week, San Francisco reportedly made an actual offer for Stanton.

The Giants selected Beede, 24, in the first round (14th overall) of the 2014 draft.

The right-handed pitcher went 6-7 with a 4.79 ERA over 19 starts in Triple-A last season.

[RELATED: Healthy Tyler Beede shows why he's Giants' top pitching prospect]

The Orange and Black took Shaw, 24, in the first round (31st overall) of the 2015 draft.

In 37 games for Double-A Richmond in 2017, he hit .301 with six home runs and 29 RBI.

He was promoted to Triple-A and hit .289 with 18 home runs and 50 RBI in 88 games.

Shaw recently played in the Arizona Fall League, but only saw action in five games because of a sore shoulder.

In his own way, David Lee was a launching pad for the new age Warriors


In his own way, David Lee was a launching pad for the new age Warriors

So we say Goodbye, once and for all, to David Lee, who was nothing less than the visible lightning rod for all that was good and bad about the Warriors during their advancement from a hut on the outskirts of the NBA to the league’s penthouse suite.

Lee was, in his own way, every bit as much of a launching pad for the New Age Warriors as was Stephen Curry.

Lee, who disclosed his retirement Sunday in a very 2017 America way -- with an Instagram post -- came to the Warriors from the New York Knicks in a July 2010 sign-and-trade deal. He was the one-man brass band providing accompaniment to the announcement of the team being purchased by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.

An expensive band, too, as the Warriors handed Lee a six-year contract worth $80 million.

Fairly popular in New York, having been the team’s only All-Star in the nine-season span from 2001-02 to 2010-11, Lee became a fast favorite among many Warriors fans because he produced impressive individual numbers for a struggling team with a richly earned inferiority complex.

In 2012-13, Lee’s third season as a Warrior, he became the team’s first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell 16 years earlier. Lee led the NBA in double-doubles, his favorite statistical category. That season, not coincidently, also marked the team’s return to the playoffs after a five-year absence.

Lee by then was partnering with Curry as the leaders of a team -- no, a franchise -- determined to became a player in the NBA. With Guber’s theatrical flair and Lacob’s naked ambition, the Warriors were not going to be stopped.

It became apparent the following season, even as the team was making its second consecutive playoff appearance, that Lee had a ceiling. He could score and rebound well enough to rack up double-doubles, but he was giving away points on the other end. Lee was an awful defender, constantly picked on by opponents.

The Warriors could win a lot of games with Lee as their starting power forward, but they weren’t going to win any championships.

That door didn’t crack open for the Warriors until late in the 2014 season, and it opened wide during the playoffs against the Clippers. Three games into the series, with LA’s Blake Griffin having his way with Lee, Warriors coach Mark Jackson realized he had an answer to his Griffin problem.

Jackson turned to Draymond Green, who played well over the final weeks of the season as Lee recovered from an injury. Green immediately got under Griffin’s skin and stayed there for the rest of the series. More than three years later, Green still terrifies Griffin, which is why the Warriors own the Clippers.

The Clippers won the series in seven games, but the Warriors were enlightened.

Jackson was fired after that series, and Steve Kerr was hired as the new coach. Kerr says he came in believing Lee would be his starting power forward. Lee had the misfortune of straining a hamstring in the final preseason game, pressing Green into the starting lineup. He has been there ever since.

As their 2014-15 season marched on, the Warriors coaching staff began carefully rationing Lee’s reserve minutes to obscure his defensive limitations. In two years, he had gone from a numbers beast and Curry’s chief sidekick to being marginalized on a team bound for a championship.

A member of the 2015 championship team, Lee also was the most glaring casualty of the Warriors amazing ride to the top of the NBA.

His arrival had given them a modicum of credibility, something utterly lacking at the time. That helped the franchise. His departure, traded to the Celtics in July 2015 -- five years to the day after he came to the Bay -- gave the Warriors some immediate cap relief. That also helped the franchise.

After two years bouncing around the league, from the Celtics to the Mavericks to the Spurs last season, Lee is hanging up his sneakers. He’s diving into life with his new fiancée, the tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. Life was good and it should stay good.

Lee has much about which to be proud. He did his job well enough for the Warriors, but not as well as they needed it to be done to reach the very top. No shame in that, none at all.